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Matt Eberflus pinpoints hidden benefit of Bears adding Caleb Williams, Rome Odunze

Matt Eberflus pinpoints hidden benefit of Bears adding Caleb Williams, Rome Odunze originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Every part of the Bears' offensive operation got a much-needed facelift this offseason, from the hiring of offensive coordinator Shane Waldron to the trade for Keenan Allen and the drafting of quarterback Caleb Williams and wide receiver Rome Odunze.

On paper, the Bears should have a dynamic offense led by Williams and the litany of weapons at his disposal.

For head coach Matt Eberflus, the Bears' offensive additions mean improvement on Sundays and a vital way for his defense to improve during the week.

"I think it’s going to be tough to defend, starting with practice," Eberflus said after the Bears' 2024 draft concluded last week at Halas Hall. "We’ve gotta defend those guys in practice, which I think is going to be really for our skillset on both sides of the ball. Because if you look at the receiving corps, they’re all different. The halfbacks are all different. The tight ends are different. They’re different skill sets. So I think that’s a credit to [general manager Ryan Poles] to be able to bring those guys together, acquire those guys, and I think it’s going to be very difficult to defend."

The Bears already had two of the most quarterback-friendly receivers in the NFL in DJ Moore and Allen, but desperately wanted to add Odunze with the No. 9 pick in the first round after selecting Williams at No. 1.

The Washington star slid into the Bears' lap, with some help from the Atlanta Falcons at No. 8, and now the Bears have arguably the best wide receiver trio in the NFL.

"As a receiver, he can line up anywhere, inside outside," Poles said of Odunze. "You love his ability to finish in contested situations. Plays strong, plays big, run after catch is very good. He's a punt returner as well. I mean, the kid's just put time in, and he got better and better every single year, and he's a winner. He can impact the game at any moment. If you're at quarterback, and you're in doubt, you want to just go give a guy an opportunity to go finish, he's your guy. He's done that consistently."

Williams got to know Odunze during the pre-draft process and made it known that he wanted Odunze to complete a dynamic offensive attack.

"You set high expectations," Williams told NBC Sports, the Chicago Tribune, and the Chicago Sun-Times in Detroit after the Bears drafted Odunze. "I don’t necessarily have numbers or anything like that. An electric offense. Efficient. Fun. Just spreading the ball around to everybody. Because we have three guys and let’s not forget about Cole Kmet. You know? Let’s not forget about him. He looks like. We said this when I had my dinner. He looks like Clark Kent. Let’s not forget about the guy. 85.

"We’re excited. I’m excited. I think it’s going to be a high-powered offense to have guys like that. A lot of knowledge that I am willing and excited to learn."

For Odunze, who played alongside fellow NFL draft picks Ja'Lynn Polk and Jalen McMillan at Washington, slotting into a three-headed monster in Chicago should be no problem.

"Excited to attack, really," Odunze said. "It really reminds me of all the key pieces that I had in college and the pieces coming together for the incredible seasons that we had. It really has that same feeling, having so many weapons on offense, bringing in a guy like Caleb at the helm of it all allows us to do so many different things, so I’m super excited for the attack mindset that we’ll have on offense, the explosiveness we can bring to any football field and I think it will be special."

The work for Williams and Odunze will start May 10 and 11 at rookie minicamp before OTAs begin on May 20, where the new-look Bears offense will get its first work against an ascending defense led by cornerback Jaylon Johnson.

Johnson is excited about the addition of Odunze and the battles they will have in practice.

"The rook got to come and prove himself, but he's a damn good player for sure," Johnson told 670 The Score. "He's got to see guys like me every day. He's a heckuva a player."

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